Q & A

with Dr. Barry L. McAlpine

Recently Insights asked Dr. Barry McAlpine, a member of the Palmer Board of Trustees, to comment on the past, present and future of the College and chiropractic.
Dr. Barry L. McAlpine

Barry McAlpine, D.C., F.I.C.A., F.I.C.C., graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic’s Davenport campus in 1971. Since then, he has been practicing in Holland, Mich. Dr. McAlpine received three Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars and a Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam War. He is a member of the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research. Dr. McAlpine has held offices and chaired committees in the Michigan Chiropractic Council, the Michigan Chiropractic Society, the International Chiropractors Association and the American Chiropractic Association. He was appointed by the governor to the Michigan Health Occupation Council from 1989 to 1991. A distinguished Fellow of the International Chiropractors Association, Dr. McAlpine was named Chiropractor of the Year in 1992 by the Michigan Chiropractic Society and named a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractors. He was appointed to the Palmer Board of Trustees in 2006.

Tell us what strengths you bring to the Board?

Although I have returned many times to Palmer College for Homecoming, seminars, graduations and other events, I do not consider myself an “insider.” I consider myself a fresh face on the Palmer leadership team. I also am presently on the boards of other organizations and bring that experience as well as 35 years of chiropractic practice to the Board. I think of myself as a good listener as well as someone who can think outside the box.

There are many issues that I plan to put on the table and discuss. I want to help Dr. Mickey Burt inspire the alumni to be more involved in what alumni do best, and that is support the College with students and financial contributions.

What issues in the chiropractic profession concern you most?

We have experienced more change in our profession in the past five years than we have in the previous 100 years. I predict the changes in the next five years will be even greater. Our future depends on how we respond to them.

For more than a century, there has been a Palmer School of Chiropractic, which later became Palmer College of Chiropractic. But like everything else, change is inevitable.

What is your vision of Palmer College in 25 years?

I hope we will have grateful alumni who support Palmer. When we have a larger percentage of our alumni giving, we will become eligible for funds from large foundations that contribute to colleges that have shown good support from their graduates.

My daughter attends a small, high-end liberal arts college in the southern U.S. This college has 1,000 students and matches Palmer in enthusiasm and pride. However, it continuously leads the nation in alumni giving. That college regularly gets 60 percent of its alumni giving back to the school every year. Let’s start now to increase our percentage of alumni who give back to Palmer so that other colleges look to us as the standard.

What are your favorite memories of your college days at Palmer?

It was during those years I learned the philosophy, science and art of chiropractic. Since that light went on in my soul, chiropractic has become a way of life. I estimate that during my career I have given more than 400,000 adjustments and, like most other chiropractors, have experienced the thrill of giving that so-called “miracle adjustment.”

Almost every day, someone will approach me, whether in the office or in the community, and report how their chiropractic experience greatly helped them and was either more beneficial than their standard medical experience or greatly complimented their medical care. Fellow alumni, you know what I mean. Students, your hard work and efforts at Palmer College will be rewarded.

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